(Guayaquil, Quito, Amazon)
Experience the Galapagos Islands aboard the 16 passenger catamaran Cormorant. Built in 2011 she is one of the most comfortable ships operating in the Galapagos, and her small size and great crew to guest ratio mean a fantastic trip for everybody. Imagine yourself walking amongst prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, albatross nesting colonies, lumbering giant tortoises, baby sea turtles hatching, or flamingos. Swim and snorkel with playful sea lions, speedy penguins, sea turtles and a myriad of spectacularly colourful fish. An experience like no other you have ever known.
Next, you'll travel to the capital of Ecuador, Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the plazas, cathedrals and squares that make this one of South America's gems, and travel to the "middle of the world" to see the Ecuator line.
Journey into the pristine Amazon Rain Forest within Yasunì National Park, an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the largest tract of tropical rain forest in Ecuador. Completely renovated and re-opened in July 2012, La Selva Lodge is one of the premier eco-lodges in the Amazon. Easy trails and lazy canoe rides will bring you close to the wildlife of the jungle, including monkeys, sloths, cayman, butterflies and birds.
Guayaquil airport transfer with private vehicle and driver.
Conveniently placed in Ecuador, a strategic point in South America, the Hilton Colon Guayaquil hotel combines excellent service and a laid-back resort feel with a convenient location only few minutes from José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport. With 294 fully renovated rooms and suites, you can enjoy your spacious guest room and stay connected with wireless internet access. Get to work at the desk or just relax with a movie on the flat screen TV. Connecting rooms are perfect for those travelling as a family. Step up to an Executive Room or suite and benefit from extra space, a range of special touches and exclusive access to the Executive Lounge where complimentary snacks and refreshments are served.
Fly from Guayaquil to Galapagos on a direct flight. The flight duration is approximately 2 hours. Please note that flight rates are subject to change without prior notice.
The $100 entrance fee to the Galapagos Islands Park and the $10 Tourist card are included in your booking. Please note that the itinerary is a guide only - the route and program vary according to National Park policies and regulations, weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety precautions and wildlife encounters.
A local representative from the cruise line will meet you at the airport to escort you to your anchored cruise ship.
In the morning we visit Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido) also known as the Sleeping Lion because of its resemblance. It is located of the coast of San Cristobal, and you can find the remains of a lava cone eroded by the ties, as well as two vertical rocks rising 500 feet from the ocean that form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Island's natural monument has become a favorite sight for cruises due to the many Tropicbirds, Frigates and Boobies that fill the surrounding air. Beneath the sea, the nearly crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish and invertebrates.
Naturalist's briefing on the next day's activities followed by dinner on your cruise ship.
The brand new Cormorant incorporates the very best of Galapagos Catamaran design. The modern and ample accommodation includes jacuzzi, huge sun deck and a private balcony for each of the spacious staterooms. Cormorant combines high quality with high value making your Galapagos experience an affordable luxury.
Dry landing for an exciting walk on lava/boulder terrain to visit its unique sea bird colonies, including the waved albatrosses (April - December), Nazca (masked) boobies, blue-footed boobies, swallow-tail gulls, and the famous blowhole. Among its land birds, the Hood island mockingbird, and three species of Darwin’s finches are common highlights. Also, look for red-green-black marine iguanas.
Today you can choose from three different options:
Gardner Bay Excursion : Wet landing on a white coral beach, amidst a large colony of sea lions. In this open area you can spot many species of birds, such as Galapagos hawks, oyster catchers, Galapagos doves, hood mockingbirds and yellow warblers; as well as marine iguanas and lava lizards.
Gardner or Osborn Islet, which both offer great snorkeling and swimming opportunities.
Wet landing at the historical Post Office Bay to learn about the human side of the islands, its early inhabitants and the adventures of pirates and whalers. There is an old barrel adorned with a variety of signs pointing the direction and giving the distance to places all over the world. It is here that early settlers or visitors would leave their mail in hopes that someone going in the right direction might take their mail and deliver it or pass it on. A short walk from the famous barrel takes you to a tunnel formed by lava flows. Down a tricky path you can observeDarwin’s finches, Galapagos mockingbirds, yellow warblers and lava lizards. The Baroness's Viewing Point is the perfect place to take in the beautiful landscape that defines Floreana, and a great spot to learn about the intriguing history of the Baroness and her three lovers.
Wet landing on a green sand beach at Cormorant Point, followed by a hike on well-marked trail to a large, brackish lagoon. Here you will see one of the biggest populations of flamingos in the islands. Champion is a favorite snorkelling site filled with colorful fish, sea lions, and mayabe and occasional shark or sea turtle! Novice snorkelers can practice back on the main beach where the sea lions are playful, while experienced snorkelers can roam the waters.
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, staffed with international scientists conducting biological research and conservation projects. Here you will see the Giant Tortoises that are part of the breeding program of Fausto Llerena. If time permits take a stroll along the main street of Puerto Ayora and enjoy a snack or the views across the harbour.
Transfer by bus across Santa Cruz Island and a short ferry ride to Baltra where the airport is located.
Fly from Galapagos to Quito via Guayaquil on Aerogal. The flight duration is approximately 4 hour.
Enjoy a private airport transfer with a professional driver.
The Swissotel Quito is a large, grand establishment that promises a friendly, enjoyable experience. The 277 rooms are clean and well-appointed, with a bed so comfortable it will be hard to leave behind. The panoramic views of the city are just as addictive. An extensive breakfast is memorable for its array of fruits, breads, and meats and dairy. A positive environment of caring service and impeccably-maintained lobby space contribute to the hotel's appeal. The fitness facilities are excellent and offer a lot of options for those who are keen on working out. Also try out the tennis, squash, and racquet courts.
Colonial city tour: San Francisco de Quito, recognized as the largest and better preserved colonial city in the Americas. Quito, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, 1978 anddue to its artistic vocation offers art and creativity ranging from the modern to the lavish baroque. While touring opportunity to recognize the gothic style of the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus; dwellings with architectonical influence derived from Spanish Conquistadores visible in observation of tile roofs, forged iron rode balconies and beautifully carved doors. The heart of Quito, Independence Square, flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop´s palaces, the Metropolitan Cathedral give to the visitor the feeling of going back in time to the of Spanish-American era. The Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesús, magnificent example of the baroque style in Latin America.
From there we head approximately 11 miles (18 Km.) north of downtown Quito, we visit “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World) and the Equator Monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude where the eighteenth century French Geodesic Expedition built one of the three pyramids as landmarks for their planet calculations to deduct the shape of the earth in a complex which replicates a Spanish-American village. We also visit the Intiñan Solar Museum, where you’ll find scientific and experimental aspects of being right at the Equator.
Enjoy a direct flight from Quito to Coca. The flight duration is approximately 30 minutes.
Upon arrival to Coca airport you will be met and transferred (shared service) to the La Selva private boat dock. A motorized canoe will be waiting to take you down the River Napo (2 ½ hours). During the ride downriver enjoy a box lunch. Arrive to LA SELVA dock, staff will help you carry your luggage (carry on, as well as camera gear, is guests responsibility.) A complimentary welcome cocktail awaits you in the bar along with the Naturalist guides.
Organize today's excursions once you are settled in. Choose from the list of optional excursions. Dinner will be served in the main lodge at 19:00. There are Night Excursions (caiman hunt, search for owls, frogs, insect excursion, etc) in case guests are interested available every night.
All the excursions will be organized day by day with your guide and the group.
SACHA HUAGRA TRAIL: Cross Garzacocha Lake, walk through virgin forest appreciating the giant kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) and the Strangler fig tree (Ficus sp) between the most representatives along with some other plant and animal species that can be seen in the trail; arrive at the lodge for lunch. It takes about four and a half hours for the whole loop.
PARROT CLAY LICKS: Visit the Yasuní National Park for the whole morning in order to appreciate a unique site where parrots, parakeets and macaws concentrate in order to gather the minerals that will help them to digest the fruits they have consumed.
DANTA’S TRAIL: The duration can vary between 3 to 5 hours. Cross the Napo River and arrive at a challenging mountainous trail which offers yet another ecosystem. It is a chance to see birds and other wildlife nowhere else seen.
GARZACOCHA-MANDICOCHA-MANDIYACU: A 3 to 4 hour trip. Follow the Mandicocha trail until you reach Mandicocha Lake which has a completely different ecosystem called Igapo Forest, board paddle canoes for a one hour glide down Mandiyacu stream. One easily sees the myriad of wildlife that presents itself along the shores of the stream.
WALK TO SILVERIO’S HOUSE: Cross Garzacocha Lake. Two and a half to three hour walk on a purposely underdeveloped trail which has some physical challenge. Most of the walk takes place in primary forest and at the end it passes by the huts of our indigenous neighbors near the Napo River. There is a great possibility to discuss about the Kichwa people life style, and visit an indigenous family.
CHAWAMANGO TRAIL: Head east at Mandicocha trail head and walk back to Garzacocha lake. 3 - 4 hour walk. Surprises can be found on the way.
MATAPALO TRAIL: This is an introductory walk perfect for the day of your arrival. Here you will have the chance to appreciate the particular Strangler Fig (Ficus sp), Azteca ants (Azteca trigona) lots of bright and beautiful heliconia plants and the Rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) among other surprises!
TOUCANETA’S TRAIL: This is a short 2 hour walk around the lodge where you will get a general idea of the tropical rainforest (flora, fauna & microfauna).
LITTLE CHAWAMANGO: Short trip by foot around the edge of Lake Garzacocha. Return by canoe to the lodge.
135 FOOT OBSERVATION TOWER: Not far from the lodge you can spend a couple of hours observing birds that move around the canopy, perhaps monkeys and wildlife of all kinds, and of course, a wonderful view of the Amazon Basin.
NIGHT EXCURSIONS: Canoe rides are done in order to listen the nocturnal sounds and to look for fishing bats, nightjars, some insects and possibly to get a glimpse of the caimans.Walking excursions give us the possibility to encounter with nocturnal creatures such as; Tarantulas, Whip-scorpions, toads and frogs, but possibly as well with snakes.
BUTTERFLY FARM: Available every afternoon. Close to the lodge, watch and photograph butterflies at close range. With any luck, witness the miracle of metamorphosis.
Located in pristine Amazon jungle of Ecuador La Selva offers a unique experience, deep in the Amazon rainforest. Napo river (two and a half hours by canoe) from the town of Coca. Located within Yasuni national park, it boasts 17 thatched cabins and a dining room with bar/lounge area. Each of the cabins has a private bathroom, mosquito nets, and a hammock for relaxing. Each of the cabins has filtered water and hot water in the showers. Remote enough to be located in primary forest, La Selva offers many activities. There are various trails, day and night guided hikes, canoe trips and even a 135 foot canopy observation tower. Nearby is a salt lick where parrots and macaws congregate. There is also a butterfly farm. It is also possible to visit the home of a local indigenous family, and learn how residents of the rainforest commonly live.
Wake up early (06:00) for breakfast which is served at 06:30. Departures for today's excursions begin at 07:10. Lunch is served at 12:30. Enjoy some leisure time (reading, canoeing, fishing, hiking, etc) and then set out on your next adventure at 16:00. Return to the lodge for dinner, served at 19:00. Enjoy a night excursion if you wish.
Wake up early and enjoy one last breakfast in the Amazon before the boat ride and land transfer (shared) back to Coca and the flight onto Quito.
Enjoy a flight from Coca to Quito. The flight duration is approximately 30 minutes.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Ecuador for the most up to date visa information.
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